I have been using blogs in my classroom for over 5 years now. In fact, I have completed adapted my coursework so that all homework in my class is in the form of student blog posts. I am absolutely a moderator. I believe that if a student blog is going to serve the purpose of enhancing content knowledge for the topic covered in class, there must be some moderating.
When I first started requiring students to blog, I had very generic instructions. My instructions have grown to be very specific based on my early experiences. In previous years, I had my students compile all of their posts on a Google Site as their own blog. Since I teach an elective and we no longer require a 4th year of social studies, I eliminated that requirement to make my class a little easier. I would love to do it but we are in a competition for students so it was a requirement I had to do away with. Now, my students make weekly posts on our discussion board in Schoology and then reply to their peers. Since I teach Psychology, the student blogs revolve around their own behavior. Each blog is evaluated based on my Discussion Forum Rubric.
Since my school district is currently using Schoology and you have to be a member of our school to see the content, I’ve taken several screen shots of my blog area to show what it looks like.